- Keeping the public safe is top priority. Crews will first clear fallen lines from the roadways.
- Once roadways have been cleared, work begins on restoring power to substations, if necessary. Sometimes service to hundreds of members can be restored immediately by restoring power at the substation.
- Next, major distribution feeders are repaired. These are the lines that come from the substation. If energy isn’t flowing over these lines, your home cannot receive power.
- Tap lines are repaired next. These lines carry power to groups of homes from distribution feeders. Sometimes taps need to be disconnected to get the main lines back on.
- Finally, individual service lines are repaired. While MVEC is responsible for getting the electricity to your meter, members must contact an electrician to repair damage to member-owned electric equipment.
Here’s a video that helps explain it:
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A: The crew you saw was probably working on getting the backbone of MVEC’s electric system repaired. Our first priority in an outage is to get the main power lines back in operation. Not every wire is a main circuit. There are thousands of lines that feed off main circuits (called tap lines). So after the main power lines are energized, we start repairing tap lines next. After trunk lines are functioning, we make repairs that affect the most people at one time. This means repairs affecting only one or two locations will probably be last.
Q: Why does my neighbor have power and I don’t?
A: There may be damage to the service wires leading only to your home, and those wires may not affect your neighbor’s electricity. Your neighbor’s home may be served by a different feed (or different wire) than your home, even though you’re right next door.
Q: I have underground wires to my house. Why did my power go off?
A: Even though the wires to your home are buried, overhead wires may bring electricity to those underground wires from the substation. Power can still be interrupted by other circumstances such as construction (digging) and animal contacts (i.e. gophers).
Q: Doesn’t MVEC automatically know when my power is out?
A: Not necessarily. It is very important for all members to call us when they experience an outage, which helps us identify the location and the extent of the outage.
Q: When I called in my outage, I received an automated message.
A: MVEC makes every effort to answer each call with a live person, but when large call volumes are experienced, we rely on our automated phone system to eliminate busy signals or long hold times. The data we receive when members call in to report an outage helps us track and predict the extent of the outage. The automated system can inform you if a crew has been assigned to your outage, the estimated time of restoration and the option of receiving a callback after the power has been restored. This automated system works best if we have your current phone number on file. When you call, that number is immediately identified by our system and entered into our data. Do you need to update your phone number?
Q: I’m on the Critical Service Load list due to a medical condition. Why wouldn’t my power be the first to be restored?
A: MVEC isn’t necessarily able to restore service to Critical Service Load locations first. We must repair the damage to the backbone of the electric system before turning our attention to individual priority accounts. Members who depend on electrical equipment for a medical necessity should always have alternate plans in place in case the power goes out for an extended amount of time. This may include a backup power source, extra medical supplies or an alternate location until the outage is over.
- Members dependent on life support equipment
- Power’s Out – Now What?
- Frequently-asked storm restoration questions
- Safety Tips
- Tree Trimming
- Call Before You Dig
- Free electric safety presentation